Fox News hosts: Palin 'pulled punches' admission a 'joke'
August 4th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Fox News hosts: Palin 'pulled punches' admission a 'joke'

(CNN) - Two Fox News Channel hosts said Thursday they were joking when they previously claimed they felt awkward about commenting on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin because she's a fellow Fox employee.

"The only problem with talking about Sarah Palin is that she works here, and it's like a co-worker," said Greg Gutfeld, co-host of "The Five," the network's show on Wednesday. "And if I say something bad and I see her in the hallway, I feel really awkward and wrong, so I just kind of say, 'good job'."

Co-host Bob Beckel agreed, saying he'd also held back his criticism of Palin, a Fox News contributor who makes more than $1 million per year from the network. Palin is flirting with a run for president in 2012.

"It has nothing to do with that, it has everything to do with your paycheck. That's what you feel awkward about," Beckel said. "I know exactly what you mean. I'll be honest: I've pulled my punches on her."

After the comments spread on the internet, the hosts during Thursday's show replayed the remarks and clarified that they were joking. Republican panelist Dana Perino referred to the segment as a "mea culpa."

"So you make one joke and left-wing sites… go crazy because they're so desperate for any kind of Palin anecdote–that's like their heroin," said Gutfeld.

Co-host Beckel, a Democrat, touted his record of criticizing Palin on Fox in the past and said Wednesday's comments were a way to break up some of the tediousness on the show. "We were joking," he said.

"Everybody happy now? Good," Beckel said as their comments came to a close.

Beckel is a long-time Democratic operative and commentator while Gutfeld is a conservative television host. The two are among a cast of rotating hosts on the Fox show that bills itself as a discussion and debate of the day's top stories.

The original Wednesday exchange followed a playback of Palin's comments Tuesday night over reports that Vice President Joe Biden had likened tea party activists to terrorists.

In Palin's response, she said President Barack Obama should look into his own past with Bill Ayers if he wants to see "domestic terrorists."

Filed under: Fox News • Sarah Palin
soundoff (494 Responses)
  1. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Memo from Roger Ailes to all Fox News Employees:
    "As a reminder, as long as you enjoy receiving a paycheck from us, please make sure that you do not over criticize Sarah Palin. The $1 Million + per year we are paying her has brought in more viewership. I don't want her to get mad at us and go to MSNBC! If that happened, many of you would probably lose your jobs, too.
    "Also, Mister Huckabee, please remember that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia is the largest shareholder in News Corporation that is not named Murdoch. As such, please tone down your rhetoric against Muslims in general and Saudis in particular. We really do not want to lose his money.

    August 4, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. street smart

    Nice picture, It shows her veneer smile is as fake as she is. Also the hateful glint in her eye which is indicative of the TERRORISTIC rhetoric like "Lock & load" or her heinous act of hanging sniper targets on Dem districts. If this woman was interviewed on real stream media news channels she would be seen as the Jerry Springer reject that she really is. Ive seen snakes with more character

    August 4, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. NYCMovieFan

    Other than CNN, who is watching FOX non-news? NOBODY.

    August 4, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. MiddleOfTheRoad

    C'mon Fox. Your credibility is at stake. Dump the twit. A million freakin' bucks a year. How's your ratings when she "contributes"? She dumbs down the rest of your "superstars". Fox is a joke. Palin is a joke.

    August 4, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. CRA

    Hmm interesting. Maybe FOX is deciding to dump her like they did Glen Beck. Crazy people are fun until people start taking them seriously. FOX built the Tea Party up and now they are in charge it isn't fun any more.

    August 4, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. ShutUP

    FOX and company just need to go away. Same old trash compactor.

    August 4, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. markfromdover

    i betcha todd's been going soft on her for years!

    August 4, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Realwriter24

    This article and its title are an outright lie. Neither of the two you quoted are NEWS ANCHORS.......They never ever deliver news and are hardly "anchors"......They are commentators who only engage in discussions. They only appear on shows that express OPINIONS. I can't believe how low some will go to vilify their competition.

    August 4, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. buddha12

    Sounds kind of like the main stream media and Obama, or ANY of the favored democrats doesn't it.

    August 4, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. buddha12

    Hey Michael, Would your IQ test allow them to use teleprompters, and prescreened questions? If not, then most democrats need not apply

    August 4, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. James

    Politicians shouldn't be in the news business. Its a conflict of interest. beside, if you are going soft on her... (hahahaa.. ooopps dirty mind slip there...) then you shouldn't be in the news business either.

    August 4, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. one voice

    This picture makes Her look like the devil, just add horns.

    August 4, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. democratlady

    What does he mean, "the only problem..."? Palin has enough problems to fill the Grand Canyon. Might as well go easy on her; what difference does it make? She always sounds stupid anyway.

    August 4, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Mike Rains

    Sarah Palin looks insance to me. She and her teabaggers are so ambitious. Ambition is what led Caeser to his downfall during the Ides of March. This used to be a nice country to live in, but now you have these extremist idealouges pushing their agendas on everyone. What happened to Live and Let Live. You teabaggers live your life, but stop tryign to push your crazy god-fearing beliefs on the Silent Majority. Oh, and thanks for trashing the economy August 2nd, nice affect you had on the Stock Market.

    August 4, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. bill

    Well at least he has a reason – she works for Fox. What are these other networks reasons for going soft on obama?

    August 4, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Jay Kay, Minneapolis

    Fox could solve this problem by getting rid of Palin. She should be working at a Waffle House anyway.

    August 4, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. billy

    Faux news is not truthful in its reporting-imagine that !

    August 4, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Barry from Wisconsin

    Unbelievable! A nitwit, no substantive experience, QUIT her accidental job as governor of the wild west (Alaska), could not come up with an answer to what she read for news (perhaps the Wasilla, AK wombat?)…..and Fox pays her over $1 million per year.

    Does that tell anyone what audience Fox is pandering to?????

    August 4, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. polite centrist

    I still wish we had a party for Moderates. The Dems don't like us and the GOP hates us!

    August 4, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. Oldie in TampaBay

    won't be long til Rupert's whole house of cards falls ... its teetering now .. Sarah is just a part of it.

    August 4, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Mike Rains

    Is Sarah Palin insane? She looks dangerous. She is a whacked out right-wing terrorist. I bet she'd kill people if she coudl get away with it. I can't believe she was actually a close contender for the Vice Presidency. Can you imagine what she would do if she had that much authority? I'll be she'd make all Americans sign Grover Norwich's pledge, and those who refuse would be "targeted" with her cross-hairs of violence. We'd all have to join a Church and give it 20% tithes, and worship her and god too.

    August 4, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Mu

    Now can clear-up some confusion about Tooth Fairies and Santa?

    August 4, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. SecedingfromTexas

    You are probably going to have to explain what W Spann LLC is to Four/Door and Fair. Eventually they will run out
    of excuses for what the Teas have done to America, and are continuing to do because they have no idea what
    fiscal responsibiliy is.

    August 4, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. NoFoolLIke That

    Here's a newsflash: if you've got to continuously insist you're "fair and balanced", it's because you aren't. And BTW, haven't heard that stupid phrase "homicide bomber" lately. Guess they finally figured out they were insulting their base...

    August 4, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. Laura

    You mean it's not fair and balanced? Color me shocked!

    August 4, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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